Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIX.: Of the Law of Retaliation. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XIX.: Of the Law of Retaliation. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of the Law of Retaliation.
THE use of the law of retaliation† is very frequent in despotic countries, where they are fond of simple laws. Moderate governments admit of it sometimes; but with this difference, that the former exercise it in full rigour, whereas, among the latter, it ever receives some kind of limitation.
The law of the twelve tables admitted two; first, it never condemned to retaliation but when the plaintiff could not be satisfied in any other manner‡ : secondly, after condemnation they might pay damages and interest∥ , and then the corporal was changed into a pecuniary punishment§ .
[† ]It is established in the Koran. See the chapter of the cow.
[‡ ]Si membrum rupit, ni cum eo pacit, talio esto. Aul. Gellius, lib. 20. c. 1.
[∥ ]See Kempfer.
[§ ]See also the law of the Visigoths, book 6. tit. 4. §. 3. and 5.